Kleptomnesia And your Subconscious
Have you ever heard the saying, there’s no original idea?
This is basically true because, most of the things we think about often stem from personal experiences such as : the music we listen to, our environment, our social circle, etc. And in more cases than one, these exact same thoughts we have occur in others all over the world. Leading to one generally accepted fact which I stated at the beginning.
‘There is no original idea’
I’ve spent a little over two years in the creative industry as a 3D artist, and I’ve come to realize that many times than one, we artists and creatives (Human beings generally), tend to exhibit what is known as ‘Kleptomnesia’ ( or Accidental Plagiarism, or ‘Cryptomnesia’)
Kleptomnesia, is the act, of generating an idea that you strongly believe within yourself is novel but in fact, it was created by someone else.
The human brain is wired such that we hardly make any effort to challenge the source of a piece of information once we believe it as true. So, the very moment we think “Oh I just had this new idea!”, we immediately get carried away with the rush and excitement of it all that we forget to try and think about what might have triggered this new ‘idea’ of ours. There have been cases where musicians have written pieces of music that are oddly similar to other ‘previously’ written pieces or situations where a poem has a very similar if not identical structure to another popular poem and the writer believes he was the originator of this new masterpiece when in reality, subconscious triggers added up to bring about the idea.
Now, to how this relates with our subconscious mind.
First off, The subconscious refers to the part of the human mind which is not in focal awareness. Or basically, the part of the mind that thinks without you putting in any effort. Every time you have an idea, or an emotion, or a thought, an image or memory from the past. It is your subconscious mind that’s communicating with your conscious mind.
See the link yet?
Certain experiences, like seeing a group of words, or an image, or even eating a certain food store themselves in our subconscious mind, just laying dormant. Waiting for their time to be recalled.
Let me give a personal example of what happened to me a few hours prior to writing this. While thinking of a concept for the daily renders I do as an artist, I opened up Twitter and began scrolling through to pass time. A few minutes after, I closed the app and headed out for a walk. By the time I’d gotten back to my laptop, An idea had formed in my mind. I decided to create a kind of dreamworld where a man with glowing white skin was making his way around. I titled this render ‘Into a Dream’.
Upon finishing this, excited and satisfied with the result. I posted the image on my Whatsapp status and on Instagram and was about to post it on Twitter when upon refreshing my timeline I came face to face with where I’d apparently stolen the idea from.
Right at the top of my timeline was a Twitter account with a username that matched the same name I’d used for my render and the profile picture had a man sitting on a cloud. I suddenly remembered that I had gone through the account a day before
Kleptomnesia strikes again.
So the combination of me going through that account a day ago, coupled with me undergoing the stress of a creative block and the fact that I’d opened twitter at that same time all added up to me thinking I’d come up with an original idea.
Subconscious triggers led to my committing ‘Kleptomnesia’
Ultimately and yet sadly, this gives credo to the saying, There is no original idea. And just like I said in the first paragraph, “Everything we think of is all made up of one experience or a couple of them”
But what we can do, as the imperfect human beings we all are is build upon the initial idea, and infuse our own style into it. Thereby adding some amount of originality to the creative world.
So while you’re out there creating whatever it is, or while you’re making that piece of music, writing that book or drawing that character, if you later realize where the initial inspiration or concept was drawn from. Make sure you give credit.
Credits to Check out Into A Dream (@IntoADreamGame): https://twitter.com/IntoADreamGame?s=09